After his visit to the Ottawa Senators Summer Hockey Camps on Wednesday, we spent some time with Sens centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau to talk about giving back to the community, dealing with the shorter off-season and more.
On taking part in the visits to the minor hockey camps during the summer:
It's not something that I always had the chance to do as a kid and meet some hockey players, especially from Ottawa. I know Kyle Turris came a few weeks ago and I think that's pretty exciting for a kid to have a chance to meet an NHL hockey player. Sometimes it's your idol, sometimes it's just being able to ask them questions and being able to learn and listen to the little tips that they have for you. For me, I'm happy to do these visits and to meet these kids and see the smiles on their faces.
On not having the opportunity to meet and mingle with NHL players as a kid:
That's something that I didn't have the chance to do so I'm happy to do it today. I would obviously like to do it more. I've got a pretty busy schedule with the golf tournaments and the charity events but meeting these kids is always at the top of my list.
Fielding some questions from campers during his visit:
It's great. Obviously there are some weird questions like if I like tuna or not (laughs) but its good when they ask me about nutrition or what we did during the playoffs. It's good to look back on the success that we had this year and you can tell that the kids are behind us. They like to ask about my past too and when I was younger because they want to know and they want to learn so it was good to share that moment with them.
On dealing with the shorter off-season:
It was my first time going that far in the playoffs and I really noticed a big difference. I think it was a month and a half less than what we have usually so the 10-12 charity golf tournaments I do, I do them in 3 months now. It gets pretty busy and there are always new events that we're adding so I try to do as much as I can after the little time I take to try and relax but it's something that I like to do. I'm from here and I know what it's like to be from Ottawa and Gatineau so giving my time to things like this is always a pleasure.
On finding some time to recharge during the off-season:
I got a couple of weeks off and I went to Florida for a week with my fiancée just to relax a little bit and to change your ideas and whatever we were thinking after the playoffs. It's always hard but to get away for a little bit always helps so I think I did that for a good three weeks and then right back in the gym.
On catching up with a lot of teammates this past weekend for Erik Karlsson's wedding:
It was great. That's what I said the next morning to my fiancée was that it was great to see everyone back and spend the night together. They didn't stay for long but for that time it was Erik's moment and I think everyone was happy to be there for our captain.
His plans for the rest of the off-season:
Training camp is going to be my main focus and getting ready to be there and to compete. We know all the guys and that there will be some new guys trying to fill new spots too so I think it's just to work out hard. I still have a few more charity tournaments all around here so I don't think I'm going to go away again before camp. I think everyone is excited after the season we had and obviously the expectations will be higher but that's something as a player that you want. You like that little extra pressure and you always want more. That's something that I'm really excited about.
On the experience the team gained from their deep playoff run last season:
Everyone learned how hard it is to get there and all the little sacrifices and details that you make all through the season, you have to make them in the playoffs and it's even harder. I think everyone knows that and we know what it takes if you want to win. We've made some great additions this summer with Nate Thompson and Johnny Oduya so they are going to come here to help us. They're winners so obviously we're happy to have them.